"She contacted Saving One Life who asked if I would take them in," a foster volunteer of the rescue, Caroline Grace, told Love Meow. "Upon entrance exams of the kittens, I noticed that JD (the tabby) had a missing front leg and a twisted back leg." JD had difficulty walking, but amazingly, he did not even seem to mind, keeping up with his siblings' shenanigans as best as he could.
Despite being told by the vet that there is nothing to be done to help JD walk better, Caroline was determined and did not give up on him. "I had seen stories of twisted limbs being straightened out before, so I knew there was something we could at least try. I put out a plea in the Saving One Life foster network to anyone who had experience with twisted limbs to educate me on the treatment they used," she explained.
Evette, a fellow foster, spoke with Caroline and shared her experience of working with a kitten with twisted legs, teaching Caroline about a specific physical therapy massage technique that might help him. "She showed me photos of the kitten's progress. I felt hopeful and empowered to help JD."
Caroline began massaging the kitten's leg consistently every three hours at feeding time, and after a few days, the twisted foot started to become more mobile. In an attempt to improve JD's mobility even more, Caroline received help from yet another foster - Jennifer who is a Physical Therapist. Jennifer "showed her some splinting techniques and how to encourage JD to use his leg correctly with slings and other methods."
"I put yoga mats down in his room to give him more traction. Within a week, he started walking correctly on his back leg. It was honestly one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences," Caroline said. The moment JD has started to walk more easily, his true personality started to shine, with him attempting to outrun and outwrestle every one of his siblings. And with that kind of personality, he caught himself an admirer - Andrea, who, just like the rest of us, fell in love with him.
Andrea has another cat at home who is a tripod, so she knew immediately that she had the perfect home for JD. At two months old, JD was ready to go to his new forever home. Very quickly, he adapted and started playing like the little ball of energy that he is. He and Thelma the tripod cat hit it off right away when they were introduced to each other.
"They bonded first over their missing front left legs. It was the sweetest thing to see her take him under her wing and start grooming him soon after meeting," Andrea shared. "While it took a little while for Louise (the other resident cat) to warm up to him, she eventually did and we catch them cuddling every once in awhile. JD is the classic 'little brother' and is always causing mischief and bugging his big sisters. He's also a huge cuddle bug and likes to follow his mom everywhere she goes."
"JD now lives the happiest life and has no issues with his back leg that was once twisted. He is an active and playful cat who loves running around, jumping, climbing and playing," Caroline added.
We are so thankful to everyone involved in the rescue - from the Good Samaritan all the way to Thelma who took him in as is he was her own brother. These kinds of stories give us so much hope about the fates of other animals as well.
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